Sex Differences in Predictors of Relationship Satisfaction: The Effects of Dyadic Coping, Love, Sexual Motivation and Having Children


  • Norbert Meskó
  • Fanni Őry
  • Zsuzsa Happ
  • András Norbert Zsidó


The present study explored sex differences in the predictors of relationship satisfaction (dyadic coping, love, sexual motivation, having children). A total of 465 Hungarian participants (319 women and 146 men) with a mean age of 33.6 years completed an online test battery comprising four self-report measures. The results revealed that women’s relationship satisfaction had more significant predictors than men’s, and half of the common predictors showed significant sex differences. Men’s satisfaction was positively predicted by the Intimacy and Passion components of love, while it was negatively predicted by Negative Dyadic Coping and by having at least one child. Besides Intimacy and Passion, two common predictors across sexes, women’s satisfaction was also positively predicted by the Commitment component of love, and also by successful coping with dyadic stress. By contrast, negative predictors were having sex as a means of coping with emotional problems (Sex as Coping), the individual aspect of dyadic coping (One’s Own Dyadic Coping), and Negative Dyadic coping. The findings are discussed in both bio-psychological and social constructionist approaches.